Cate has over a decade of full recovery from food, drug, alcohol, cigarette and unhealthy relationship addiction. Cate’s approach to recovery is based on the 12 step process, as well the practice of spiritual principles, exercise, good nutrition, and meditation. Cate’s personal, ongoing recovery process has benefited tremendously from the free sponsorship of other women in 12 step programs.
"It is not the matter of giving that is in question, but when and how to give. That often makes the difference between failure and success. The minute we put our work on a service plane, the alcoholic commences to rely upon our assistance rather than upon God. He clamors for this or that, claiming he cannot master alcohol until his material needs are cared for. Nonsense. Some of us have taken very hard knocks to learn this truth; Job or no job-wife or no wife- we simply do not stop drinking so long as we place dependence upon other people ahead of dependence on God. Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clearn house." pg.98 Big Book
In the beginning years of recovery, I gave advice more than I cited pages from the Big Book. Girls asked me to sponsor them and I had little understanding of the word humility. I stayed sober but I wasn't sure how much I was truly helping anyone else. I was well liked, but was I really helping another alcoholic?
Eleven years later, the instruction in this paragraph is more clear. When I give someone a fish instead of teaching him how to fish, I do not help him for the long term. When I see myself as the source of food instead of a conduit for others to learn how to access nourishment, I prevent the flow of God from working in either of our lives.
When I pray to God that I be used to help another suffering alcoholic and take him through the Big Book and the steps of the program, I allow the Power of God to unfold and expand in both of our lives. I am not in charge of my recovery or the recovery of anyone else. I am simply a testament to the fact that anyone can stay sober if he trusts in the Good of the 12-step process, takes his own inventory and humbly prays to have his shortcomings removed. Thinking I can carry another alcoholic is just another shortcoming I need removed.
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